Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Holidays in Normandie

Yesterday we came back from our family holidays in Normandie. We had a wonderful time, with even some days of intense hot and a bath in the sea!

Day 1: traveling, traveling

While Ernest drives, I draw, and time passes a bit faster. The whole trip was like 11 hours, with multiple stops for kids, dog, and ourselves. When we arrived we took our stuff out of the car and we visited the batterie allemande in Longues-sur-Mer, and the Plage des Falaises. It was high tide so we went back the day after.

Day 2: Plage des Falaises, and Bayeux

Low tide in the savage and beautiful Plage des Falaises, in Longues-sur-Mer. We found lots of small sea animals, dog swam and brought the stick back many times. Hot and sunny. Nothing like I'd been menaced Normandie would be!

In the afternoon, after an ice-cream, we visited Bayeux, its cathedral, and the ancient medieval quarter. Then my daughter and I drew a bit. This is a corner next to the cathedral. I couldn't draw the inside because at some moment someone closed the door, and it was getting late for dinner.

Day 3: Le Mont Saint-Michel, or "The Magical Mountain"

We didn't wait long for the Mont Saint-Michel, or the 'magical mountain', for the kids. While the kids and husband were visiting a terrarium in Beauvoir, I walked the 4 km of path between this town and the beginning of the passarelle of the Mont St.-Michel, with my dog. It was too hot though, and while I was looking for a place to draw, he was desperately looking for some shadow. In the end we found both, although I am left with the feeling that I have to come back in a more inspired day.
I had to wait for the family to come for a long time, so I drew and drew. The visit was great, we did it in the evening, so the mountain was quiet and we could walk around as we wanted. We had some moules there for dinner, and I could draw the dusk colors from the car. The Mont St.-Michel has indeed something magical in it, as do the long normand evenings.
Day 4: Arromanches and Plage in Asnelles
That day was super hot, we went to Arromanches, desperately looked for shadow after 5 minutes, but the windy north coast has no trees... so as soon as we could we went to the beach. Kids wanted to repeat the beach in Longues-sur-Mer, but then they also loved this one too. Next to Arromanches, the beach in Asnelles has some remains of the artificial port from the WW2.

Day 5: Honfleur and Étretat

Honfleur in the morning, some picnic lunch, and then we divide ourselves in two teams: husband + 2 kids go for a boat ride, daughter + dog + me go for some sketching. We find some shadow, dog lies down, my daughter draws one view, I draw the opposite one. Fun.

When everyone is done we take the car and go to Étretat to admire the coast. We draw the view of the falaise d'Aval and l'Aiguille Creuse. It's just magnificent. It's 18h and the sun is already coming down, the light is gorgeous. Then we walk along the coast and find some stairs going down in between the rocks, we take the path, go into a cave, and arrive to a stone beach, from where we can see the falaise de l'Amont. We spent some time there, what a wonderful afternoon.

Day 6: Caen

We are all set up, kids and dog in the car, house closed, back-packs ready. The car doesn't start, it's the battery. Fortunately we manage to get it fixed and we only get to Caen a bit later than planned. We visit the old city, the castle, do a quick drawing with my daughter and go to a park to watch some shows in the street. There's a big playground, show is funny, everyone is happy.

Day 7: Rouen

That day we managed to get out the house in the morning, and we got to Rouen by noon. Rouen is so beautiful, full of medieval houses "en pan de bois", all in different colors, and gothic churches and cathedrals. That day, with my daughter, we only wanted to draw everything we saw, and we spent like 7 hours in Rouen, and left with envy to draw a bit more...

Day 8: Barfleur, and beach

Barfleur is a small fishing town right up in the peninsula of Contentin. It is classed one of the most beautiful beaches of France, and it is true it is so authentic, with its granite stones and the harbour. That day was cloudy and windy, and after a bit of drawing in the breeze it felt a bit too fresh.

Later in the day the wind took the clouds away and as we moved back south we stopped in one of the long beaches between Quineville and Utah Beach. It was empty, low tide, and while kids looked for crabs, seashells and other beasts, I put my foldable stool in the sand, everything on my knees, and drew them in action. Quickly, and afraid I would drop something into the water...

Day 9: Pont L'Évêque

At this point I think we were tired of driving, and we had started thinking of the long drive back that was awaiting us at the end of the corner, so we spent the two lasts days a bit closer to where we were staying. That day we payed a short visit to Pont l'Évêque, the little town famous for its famous cheese. Pont l'Évêque is full of ancient medieval houses, and crossed by three rivers. Husband took the two small kids to one of these rivers, while my daughter and I took the dog to do some more sketching.

Day 10: Port-En-Bessin

Last day in Normandie, we went to Port-En-Bessin, the town next to where we were staying, a beautiful fishing town. We strolled in the harbour, and also along the cliffs facing the sea. A wonderful day to finish our trip.

Day 11: Traveling, traveling... back home

Driving, stopping, driving... We managed to get out at the time we wanted to, and didn't find major problems in the highway during our trip. At noon we were already passing through Paris, where we got a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower, then we did a longer stop for lunch in Auxerre. Kids played in the river, I took the dog for a walk, and stole him 10 minutes for a quick sketch. Auxerre surprised us, it was welcoming and beautiful. 

 After lunch it was Ernest's turn to drive, so I took my shoes off and did the last sketch of the trip. In the car, as I had started 10 days ago. It's been a great vacation, and I've enjoyed so much sketching shoulder to shoulder with my daughter. 

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Finally, Yvoire

Last year I went to Yvoire for the first time, when my family was visiting, and I told to myself I'd go back to do some sketches.  And it was only today, now bringing in some friends, that everyone got to draw a bit, children, and adults, starting from my 3yr old son! So I also got myself a bit of drawing, finally, in Yvoire.

Click to view it larger